Pages 14-26

by Fiona Maclachlan

Stepping out of the hotel on my first morning into heavy spring sleet, the temperature just above freezing, I was glad I had brought an assortment of fleeces, wellies, hiking boots, waterproofs. What a shame, I said brightly to my guide, you are trying to show me your beautiful country and just look at the rain!
There followed two days of sightseeing in this wonderfully scenic region of Azerbaijan. I was shown everything from the modern factories to ancient archaeological sights, from hot water springs to cool waterfalls, from snowy high mountain peaks to new parks with Astroturf sports facilities. And the weather changed from sleet to warm sunshine. If variety is the spice of life, then Qabala is a ´hot´ location!
The spectacular mountains just behind Qabala are part of the Greater Caucasus range. The highest peak in the range is Bazarduzu and its height is 4,466 m (14,652 feet). Qabala itself is at an elevation of a little over 2,000 feet.
Having lived in Azerbaijan for over three years, I had previously passed through this region, but never really stopped for long. This visit opened the door to what I´m sure will be many return trips. Since making the initial visit to research this article, I have already been back again and again. My first visit was in April, the second in May. My third in June with guests to Azerbaijan. The hospitality I received in May was even better than in April (which is saying something).
Qabala is very special. Arrange your own visit soon!


Qabala and its surrounding area are tremendously rich in history, so if history is your thing then Qabala is certainly for you.

Hazra Turbes
New to me, old in Azerbaijan, were the cemetery and the
View from VandamView from Vandam
Turbes in Hazra; you can read about it on Page 206 of Mark Elliot´s Azerbaijan. Hazra is signposted off the main road, but finding the cemetery is a little tricky. We were met and given a tour by Faig Mammadov, tel: 050 5689026 (Azerbaijani language so, if necessary, have a translator with you.) The cemetery is hidden in dark woods - it´s a bit spooky. Turbe is Turkish for ´tomb tower´ and there are four here, mausoleums to religious Islamic leaders, dating back hundreds of years to the 13th/14th century or so. Some degree of restoration has been done to the turbes over the years, most notably by Armenian workers during the Soviet period. I was told that this ´proves´ the story of Armenians having taken the gold, which had been left buried (10m deep) to provide for the upkeep of the turbes in perpetuity. I wonder where the gold is now. (It must be somewhere.) The ancient gravestones scattered about the mossy woods are beautifully engraved, some with detailed patterns, and some with pictures perhaps representing the trade of the person who had died. In June of this year, more extensive renovations were ongoing, this time by Sheki´s renowned master stonemasons. This reflects the importance of the site, and hopefully once finished will enhance
Hazra TurbesHazra Turbes
the visitor experience.

Qabala Museum
Allow some time, maybe an hour or two, for the newly relocated Qabala Museum. (Historical-Studies Regional Museum). You will find it in a smart low building set back from the left hand side of the road as you head out of Qabala, going south, on the way towards the AzPetrol junction. We were shown round by welcoming, enthusiastic Xalis (tel: 050 6639028) who was justly proud of his collection of exhibits. He wanted to show us, and talk to us about, every single item. From ancient bones from old Qabala city to a wind-up gramophone, it´s all here. Marvel at the old Soviet safe mechanisms, see the marvellous colours in the old pottery. This museum is an eclectic personal collection which has been added to by local people who are keen to support the curator´s enthusiasm for his subject. Again, to get the most out of a visit, you will need a translator if you can´t understand Azerbaijani.

Old Qabala
To find Old Qabala, look for the sign to Cuxur Qabala off the main road heading west from Qabala towards Sheki. For a knowledgeable local Azerbaijani-speaking guide, call Aladdin Cabrailov on 050 3832634.
For me, the last visit of my first day, but by no means least, was to Old Qabala, and this place is somewhere special. By this time it was early evening, the sun was shining, and we had those long shadows which emphasise any unevenness in the ground. Perfect!
It´s not every day that you get to visit an ancient city, and here lies the ancient 2,500 year old capital of Caucasian Albania. It was the capital city of this part of the world for maybe 1,000 years. Today you can walk over it, largely unaware
Castle towers in old QabalaCastle towers in old Qabala
of its existence. Timeteam, where are you?
The setting is dramatic, at the confluence of two rivers, the Garachay and Gochalanchay, and there are mountains to the north and south.
Today, all that exists, at least on the surface, are two towers which formed a gateway to the city, some crumbling fortress walls, and some remains of the towers on the walls; they were every 25m along the walls. The site is littered with ancient bricks and broken pottery. The gateway towers were strengthened some years ago (1978). There is a spring which provides a water supply - is it strange to see a spring right beside a river?
The site was last excavated in 1959 by an Azerbaijani archaeologist, Gaziyev, and many of the discoveries (pottery, coins and much much more) are in the Qabala Museum. So of course I felt I needed to go back to the museum to better appreciate the artefacts there. This I did in June, and was impressed once again by the museum, as were my visitors - the eldest at age 85 has a lot of experience of museums and was most impressed!
But isn´t this largely unexplored archaeological site an opportunity? I was told that the site is protected - but protected from what? During Soviet times this was a frequently visited archaeological site, but today you will struggle to find it - we had enthusiastic guides (one of whom is a local chemistry and biology teacher) and 4x4s, and had to ford the river. But there is no written information at the site, except for a signpost.
Budding archaeologists, leave dusty Baku for a few days and get out there!
Internet searches throw up tantalising information:

A short interesting article in Azerbaijan International, Summer 1998, by Gara Ahmadov. See it on the web at:

See also:


Qabala today is a busy, bustling town. The
Central QabalaCentral Qabala
main road from Ismailli to Sheki bypasses the centre of the town, so it´s easy to miss it if you are driving to Sheki. But even on a quick drive through you won´t miss the colourful mosaic from Soviet times. But don´t drive through - stop awhile.
Waking on my second morning I heard the rain again. Again? No, it was just the fountain below my balcony, and the sun was blazing in. The white snowy mountain tops were clearly visible and I was secretly pleased that everyone was late for breakfast, because I could steal a few minutes by myself in the streets of Qabala. What a busy town it is, with all the shops and tea houses open and it was only just after nine - contrast that with Baku! After the rain of the previous day, and with the promise of a fine day to come, it felt as if all the weekend DIY jobs were being planned. I walked through the neat and tidy Heydar Aliyev Park in the centre by the attractive mosque, which incidentally is now operating as a mosque and not as the museum anymore (moved to its new location as previously described). The mosque is apparently quite beautiful inside, with a big chandelier and attractive carpets. The park´s fountains were on, sparkling in the sun, filling me with optimism about the day ahead.
Later that day I was taken to the new local park (named after the previous president´s wife, Zarifa Aliyeva), which has everything from tea houses to ice cream shops to sports facilities with an Astroturf football pitch (five-aside) and Astroturf volleyball and tennis courts, and streams and bridges, ponds and fountains. The blossom covered trees were so pretty. The tea houses are all very modern but round the side they use the old traditional samovars to make the tea, filling the park with the delicious aroma of tea-making wood smoke.


Here is a region that is tapping into its natural
Local produceLocal produce
resources to provide employment and, therefore, money in harmony with the environment. This leaves the countryside largely unspoiled so that it remains beautiful and attractive to residents and tourists.
Some of the youngsters from the countryside, who leave home to study in distant universities, are choosing to return to the countryside after their graduation. These factories provide employment for them. For example, a young English-speaking man, originally from Shamaxa, who studied Food Production Technology in a Turkish university, enthusiastically and proudly showed us around the juice factory.

Juice Factory
The juice factory in Qabala was the next stop after the museums, and after a quick tour of the brand new facilities, all top quality Italian shiny clean stainless steel, I was ready for a wee sample of the produce. One juice which is popular in Azerbaijan, and drunk very little in the UK, is cherry juice. In a year´s time the paperwork will be through so that the Central Qabala Local produce travel products can
be called ´organic´, and already the factory has orders from the US and UK. All the fruit for the juice comes from the local forests and is picked by local people. It´s bottled or packaged in tetrapak cartons. Look out for it (Jala) on the supermarket shelves here in Baku, and know that you are getting the very best organic produce which is about to be in fashion back home. Look at the success story of pomegranate juice, previously featured in iNBaku magazine.

Nut Factory
Behind the Gilan Hotel (on the southern edge of Qabala) is a nut processing factory. The roads in this area, particularly noticeably on the onward journey to Sheki, are lined with hazel orchards. In season young children wait at the roadside for passers by, and enthusiastically try to sell you an armud (tea glass) full of delicious, freshly shelled hazelnuts. Local people simply turn up to the factory with their sacks of nuts. Staff use a shiny brass corer to take a cylindrical sample of nuts from the sack and the nuts are then checked for quality before
Nut processing factoryNut processing factory
payment is given.
The nuts are dried to reduce the moisture content, then shelled, then individually hand-checked for quality, and finally graded by size.
The shells and discarded low quality nuts are used as fuel to provide heat for the drying process. We tasted the ´final product´, simply the best local fresh hazelnuts. I always think of the old advert for Topic -´a hazelnut in every bite´. (A shame the chocolate was missing.)


After all the intense history, if you´re like me, you´re ready for something a bit more relaxing on the brain. What better idea than to take a trip to see some of the stunning scenery this area offers. The roads up into the mountain valleys are a good start. You are approaching the border of Dagestan, so be prepared to meet border guards, and turn back if
Road to QamarvanRoad to Qamarvan
you are asked to.

Mountain Views - Qamarvan and beyond
After breakfast the second morning we set off through Hamzali, a little village where local children say Xos Gelmisiniz (´Welcome´) when they meet you in the street. This is also where the local Hamzali Halva is made. We then drove through Bum and onwards up higher to Qamarvan where, according to Mark Elliot, there are fantastic mountain views. He didn´t see them but I did!
Beyond the border guards (you probably won´t get past) there is an isti su (hot water spring), but unfortunately it was closed. The snow was lovely, the views spectacular, and the sun warming the day.

Mountain Views - Towards Durja
Back down towards Qabala and then up towards the mountain villages of Laza and Durja. I had previously visited Ay Ishagi (a small resort with a little river-fed pond and a pedallo, don´t get excited) so had a rough idea of the area, but was totally unprepared for the sight of a fantastic new resort being built beyond there, on the left hand side of the road. Unfortunately we couldn´t have too close a look because the resort is under construction, but if I´m still here next year when it´s completed then I would love to just move in. I can´t even tell you its name! It looks as if the resort comprises three main hotel buildings, and then off to one side, a number of beautiful spacious villas with verandas, maybe in a New England style, that look as if they have arrived straight from the very best international timeshare resorts.
Nohur ReserviorNohur Reservior
The views over the river to the wooded hills opposite are amazing, and the wooded hills up behind the resort look inviting for woodland walks. This resort should be absolutely stunning when it is completed. Further upstream, the village of Durja is apparently worth a visit in summer, and somewhere nearby is Azerbaijan´s biggest waterfall. On a second visit here I still didn´t make it all the way to Durja because of a landslide. But the countryside is beautiful, the river is clear and cool, and everything was that unbeatable, spring-time green.
If you´re up this way, and hungry, then I have a feeling that the staff at the Xanlar resort might surprise you with exceptionally good food and service.

Boating Opportunities Nohur Reservoir
For another detour take a trip around the Nohur Reservoir; this is the focus of several holiday resorts. Sahil is the easiest to access, and has some small boats for getting afloat. The water was a beautiful deep blue/green colour on our visit, and the tree lined banks were very pretty, with lots of colourful wild flower meadows. You can drive part way round the lake from a road at the east end. On our visit there was water running off the hill into the lake, flowing over smooth, almost
Near QabalaNear Qabala
flat grassland which had become a myriad of shallow streams. All the local children were there - little fish (3-4" long) from the lake were making a beeline for the fresh water and were swimming up the shallow water in their thousands, and all the children were catching them with their hands and taking them home by the bucketful. A bumper surprise harvest! In drier times this area might prove suitable for idyllic camping (no facilities but there are trees!).
A little further on round the lake (furthest point from the main road) a new resort is being built, with extensive water access facilities planned. A smart new speedboat was a tantalising taste of what is to come - some small sailing boats please, windsurfers, and some kayaks.
Some like their holiday to be brash and noisy, but for me the peace of the countryside shouldn´t be marred by noisy jet skis or thumpy bump loud discos.

Beautiful Waterfalls, Yeddi Gozel Shalala
Yeddi Gozel Shalala, the Seven Beauties Waterfall, is a couple of kilometres off the main road just west of Vandam. This is a popular spot, though you wouldn´t think it judging by the poor access road. At the foot of the waterfall
there is a restaurant, a busy bustling place. Chose your table according to the view that you want. There is a path/steps up the side of the waterfall which is well worth investigating - take your camera for some ´wet´ shots.

Colourful Poppy Fields
If you visit in May, then continue west from Qabala towards Sheki, and find for yourself the beautiful fields of red poppies, again with the snow topped Caucasus Mountains as a backdrop. My end point for this journey is Sahil Bagi Restaurant where you can have a relaxing lunch outside by the river. I also like to stop at Sincan Chay, which has well grazed grassy banks (most of the rivers have extensive stony beds). Sincan Chay would make a good picnic spot.

Bucket Bazaar and the views from Vandam
On your way back to Baku you could stop at the photogenic roadside bucket bazaar in Vandam - the enthusiastic sellers all want you to buy their produce.
Follow this with a quick photo shoot of the fabulous views from the nearby restaurant. The views are so good that you might want to stay for a little bite
of food.

I´ve been so busy every time I´ve been to Qabala that I haven´t yet had time to visit Nij, a village in the south-west of the Qabala region. Next time! The many churches in Azerbaijan, so plentiful in these western regions, reflect the history of the people who lived here.
Mark Elliot´s description, in his Azerbaijan book, reveals that Nij was the Catholicos (spiritual centre) of the Albanian church from the 11th century. Nij is the only village in Azerbaijan which retains a substantial population of Udi (65 per cent) - an ethic group who still consider themselves Christian. Udis were mentioned in Heredotus´ History and Strabon´s Geography as one of the 26 Albanian tribes. Historians trace the Udi to a warrior tribe who attacked southern Mesopotamia (today´s Iraq) in 2228 BC. They were later driven back into Azerbaijan where they became major force within the multi-ethnic make up of Christian Albania. The churches here maintained their Albanian-Christian masses right up until 1836 when the synod of St Petersburg coerced them into accepting Armenian priests. The last Christian pastor was banished to Siberia but was allowed a brief trip home for good behaviour. For today´s Udi, churches are looked upon as pirs (sacred places) rather than places of collective worship. In 2003 Georgian scientist Zaza Aleksidze discovered that the historical Albanian Alphabet, which is consisted of 52 letters, was compiled on the basis of
Udi language.


Qabala is approximately a four-hour drive west of Baku and its international airport. The most comfortable and convenient way to travel is by private car. For a foreign visitor the best option is to hire a 4x4 with an English/Azerbaijani speaking driver. The cheaper option is to use local buses and taxis.
Azerbaijan is changing so fast! It seems that with every trip I make into the countryside there are more and more holiday resorts. So this list is definitely not exhaustive.
Not many years ago the only resorts were small and of a very basic quality. All this is changing fast, with the newer resorts and hotels having clean comfy beds and western- style bathrooms.

Qabala Hotel
I stayed at the Qabala Hotel (0160 524-08/9), a
spotless newly refurbished ´family friendly´ modern hotel in the centre of Qabala. It has everything you need including an abundance of wonderful staff; the people here genuinely are the best. All the rooms are ensuite and have TV, minibar facilities and aircon/heating as appropriate to the time of year. The suites (balcony, bedroom and separate sitting room) are the most spacious (80AZN), but the double (60 AZN) and single rooms (40AZN) are fine as well. The food is excellent and features first class local organic produce. Make sure you have samovar chay - it´s a special treat here. The plus sides of this hotel are that it´s very easy to find (in the centre of Qabala, you can´t miss it) which is helpful if you left Baku straight after work on a Friday. It serves delicious food until late (also helpful). And you are made very welcome, which makes the whole experience of staying here a real pleasure.

Gilan Hotel
Down the road out of Qabala, out of the centre, the smart modern Gilan Hotel (0160 528-04/3/2) showed us their rooms. Good quality clean accommodation is available here, from 50-70 AZM per room including breakfast. The rooms are bright, spacious and
Yeddi Gozel / Seven Beauties WaterfallYeddi Gozel / Seven Beauties Waterfall
have room for extra beds to be put in for children. The most expensive luxe rooms have an ensuite with a large bath, the rest have showers.

Duyma (0160 916-00) is a real family hotel, situated a few kilometres up a track from Vandam (the village to the east of Qabala). It´s signposted from the main road through Vandam. This place has been popular over the last year or so with expat families, and there is lots of outside space and play facilities for the children to run off their energy. It is surrounded by wooded countryside.

Yeddi Gozel
Again situated beside the main road, just out of Vandam on the left hand side going towards Qabala, near the river. We were greeted optimistically, and saw the accommodation which comprises one-bedroom or two-bedroom suites (50-90 AZM per night including breakfast). They are building new A-frame chalets, and a rocky swimming pool area with a stage for live music. There is bright plastic play equipment for young children. Tel: (050) 6844140, 6748426.


To tell a story
Shah plov/ King PilauShah plov/ King Pilau
of food in Azerbaijan is to tell a story of delicious fresh produce, full of flavour, and always arranged beautifully and invitingly, whether in the bazaar or on your plate. It is a story of food from the Caspian Sea (home to the world´s best caviar), from the rivers and lakes fed by melting snow on the Caucasian mountains, from the greenest alpine pastures, from the heat of the desert.. In short, because Azerbaijan contains such a variety of natural ecosystems in a wide range of climatic zones, and because herbicide and pesticide use is not practised here, there is the widest range of wonderful produce. Furthermore, Azerbaijan is home to many species of fruits in their wild, most natural state - not cultivated for size and uniformity - just full of flavour, the way nature intended.

Qabala is a stunning location, and has cuisine to match
Too often, visitors to Azerbaijan expect the international food ubiquitous the world over. So when my host let slip to the hotel chef that, to the contrary, I most emphatically prefer ´local´ food, the hotel chef saw this as an opportunity to open, and there was a whole cooked
Arzuman kuftesiArzuman kuftesi
chicken inside. And wait. Inside the chicken was a whole boiled egg. By this time I was feasted out. create for me the most amazing Azerbaijani feasts. Spoilt for choice with the available ingredients, he constructed a most wonderful weekend menu.

To Start With
We tucked in to local sheep´s cheese, cream cheese, Buffalo butter, a platter of pickled fruits, fresh tomatoes (everyone agrees that Azerbaijani tomatoes are the best they have ever tasted) and cucumbers, and the fresh bread that accompanies every Azerbaijani meal.
Local Qabala wine was offered, together with local fruit juices and local bottled water. Cool spring water was also served from a terracotta jug.

Main Courses
Saj is one of my favourite Azerbaijani dishes. It is ideal for sharing, arriving at the table arranged in a cast iron skillet (like a shallow cast iron wok), which is set on a stand and kept warm over hot charcoal while you eat. It´s never quite the same twice, because each chef uses his own ingredients depending on season and availability.
This time the rim of the skillet was decorated with thin round apple slices topped with obliquely cut cucumber slices.
Uc qulaqUc qulaq
Fresh herbs, (dill, coriander and purple basil) decorated the edge, interspersed with decoratively cut and hollowed half onions containing ´sumach´ - a popular and colourful condiment in Azerbaijan - which comes from the sumach tree. In the centre, chicken pieces, cooked with tomatoes and onions, were mixed with freshly cooked hand-cut potato chips, and decorated with twisted, fresh lemon slices, and all kept warm over the hot charcoal beneath the skillet. Imagine the combination of colours, smell and flavours.
King Pilau was served one day for lunch, and put a smile on all our faces. It must be one of the biggest deep fried pies I´ve ever tasted. Apparently some 6kg of butter went in to its making, though how much of that was actually ´in´ it, and how much was used for the frying I´m not quite sure. But that ´pastry´ is about 20 layers of home-made, hand-rolled thin pastry, similar to filo pastry, smeared with butter between each layer. The filling is the pilau, which is buttery rice together with cooked chicken and cooked dried fruits and chestnuts. Definitely impressive, and definitely tasty. The pie is cut open across the top like a sliced cake, and each ´slice´ of pastry is lifted from
the centre, so that the pie looks like a giant golden crown for a king. So delicious - I will never forget it.
Fish kebabs, served with narsharab. Narsharab is pomegranate juice boiled down on slow heat until it´s black and thick and viscous, and generally served with fish. In this region I have also been served fresh river trout, deep fried in a very thin batter - the flesh lifting perfectly from the bones.
The Big Secret, another Qabala Hotel treat, turned out to be a massive meat ball. Its official name is Arzuman Kuftesi (Arzuman´s kufte). First I tasted it (good) and then it was properly cut open, and there was a whole cooked chicken inside. And wait. Inside the chicken was a whole boiled egg. By this time I was feasted out.

To Finish
After the meals, we were offered tea. This is customary in Azerbaijan, and is served without milk, generally with lemon, and is always accompanied by something sweet. This can be as ´plain´ as a sugar cube. The general idea is that you put the something sweet in your mouth, and drink the tea over/through it.
Of course in Qabala we were
Arzuman kuftesiArzuman kuftesi
served the very best sort of tea - samovar tea. The water is heated in a large metal container, a bit like a tea urn, called a samovar. A samovar has a central core which contains the heat source for the water. Burning wood generally provides the heat. Although the water doesn´t actually come into contact with the wood, the aroma seems to, so this water makes delicious tea. The tea itself is made strong, with the teapot being placed on top of the samovar to keep warm. A little tea is poured into the armud (pear-shaped glass) and topped up to the required strength with the water from the samovar - there is a little tap on the front of the samovar. This is quite a ritual, and is never hurried, so samovar tea can take a long time in the preparation. Sometimes a herb called Uzerlik is added to smoking charcoal, and this adds a different aromatic element to the room and also reputedly keeps away the ´evil eye´.
The tea itself is always black tea, and tea is grown in the south of Azerbaijan, the Lenkoran region being locally famous for its tea. (And for the accompanying lemons.) Often tea is blended with Ceylon or Indian tea, and I guess everyone has their own favourite. Sometimes herbs are added to the tea, and this gives the tea a different flavour, often quite
The something ´sweet´ if not sugar will be a small sweet or sometimes jam.
On the table in Qabala Hotel were four types of delicious jam (peach, cherry-plum, strawberry and cherry), rose water (to add to your tea), and tempting nougat-like halva confectionary from the local village of Hamzali. There are two sorts of this halva, one from sesame seeds and one from roasted nut - my favourite was the sesame seed variety. We also had Uc Qulag (three-cornered), triangular samosa-type parcels filled with nut and sugar paste. Very more-ish! Shelled walnuts and shelled hazelnuts, something that looked like roasted grains of rice, and various dried fruits completed the selection. Oh, and a huge bowl of fresh fruit as well, just in case you´re still a bit hungry!
Because the tea drinking can go on for as long as you like, with your tea glass constantly being replenished by attentive waiters, there is plenty of opportunity to have a wee taste of everything. Plenty of opportunity for appreciative conversation; altogether a very pleasant and relaxing end to a fine meal.
I like teapots, and have a little collection of ´typical´ Azerbaijani
Central QabalaCentral Qabala
Bucket bazaarBucket bazaar
teapots at home. I even have a tiny model samovar (you can sometimes buy them in ´Artists Alley´ in Baku) which is a more transportable souvenir than the full size ones (beautiful as many of them are).

I like breakfast in Azerbaijan
Simple and predictable, and comprising bread with butter, and local cheeses and local honey, breakfast is served with as much tea as you want to drink. At this time of day tea is served in crystal tumblers (add your own sugar cubes to achieve the required degree of sweetness).
Breakfast is the only meal of the day that Azerbaijani people eat butter with their bread, so I make the most of it. Sometimes you get offered eggs, and these are always simply cooked - just whisked up and fried in butter, like a very basic omelette. However one time at the Qabala hotel I was offered another local staple breakfast addition - rice pudding. I wasn´t too sure about rice pudding for breakfast, but I´m now a convert. Are you sure, I asked them, that there is only rice, sugar and milk in this? Yes, was the reply. But there was more flavour - what was it? And then I asked -where do you get your milk from? A cow, came the obvious reply. But not so obvious. Because in Baku we only buy milk in the form of UHT in cartons, and it´s not that tasty. But here I was in the Caucasian foothills with wonderful grazing pasture, and drinking fresh creamy milk, straight from the cow, made into delicious rice pudding! The local name for this dish is Syudlu Pilau, ´Milky Pilau´.
Despite Azerbaijan being so rich in fruit, fruit juice and yogurt, these are not generally taken at breakfast. However at this hotel as well as honey there was mulberry puree (reduced, like molasses), and a smooth apricot puree. One time there was also fruit yogurt.
And another time there was caviar. I´ve never had caviar for breakfast before, but why not? It was so tasty.